Where do Everton need to strengthen this summer?

It’s certainly a frustrating time to be an Everton fan. Since Carlo Ancelotti’s departure things just haven’t gone to plan for the blue half of Merseyside, and while those across the other side of Stanley Park gear up for a potential quadruple of trophies, Everton can only watch on bitterly as they pray their side avoids an embarrassing relegation from the Premier League.

While there’s surely too much quality in this side to really go down, this season has still been a monumental failure.

Big money moves and high salaries have been a theme of their capitulation, and even when Rafa Benítez, still a strange managerial appointment, was given a stricter budget, you never felt like he was the right fit for the club. The Toffees started well but after some initial wins, they saw their form nose dive.

Edging dangerously into relegation waters, Frank Lampard was put in charge to try and resolve the situation but after winning just three games in charge so far, his inexperience has shown and Everton find themselves right in the mix of the Premier League relegation odds 21/22.

Their loss to Burnley at Turf Moor demonstrated their ability to capitulate against weaker opposition but their response was fantastic with a home win against Manchester United.

If Everton are to stay up, there’s serious work to do from the hierarchy of the club. Read on, as we look at a few players the club should be targeting to try and establish themselves as a consistent top-flight outfit once again.

Max Aarons – Norwich City

If Everton are to stay up at the expense of another relegation-threatened team, they might as well go full circle and take someone from one of their rivals.

Max Aarons would be a significant upgrade on their aging Seamus Coleman and as valiant as a servant as the Irish skipper has been, Aarons would provide the youthful exuberance to get forward and create as well as have the pace to get back and help out.

He’s already played with Ben Godfrey before, another who joined from Carrow Road, and at just 22, Aarons could well prove a good long-term investment in a back four that has looked seriously vulnerable at times this season.

Ben Brereton Díaz

With his contract up in the summer and Blackburn Rovers looking very unlikely to earn a spot in the playoffs, Everton could pick up Ben Brereton Díaz on a free this summer at the end of the Stokeborn Chilean’s contract.

His goals on the international stage have shown he can cut it in the top flight and while the Championship side would love to keep hold of their prized asset, Rovers fans aren’t holding out much hope the striker will renew his deal at Ewood Park.

Christian Eriksen – Brentford

With Donny van de Beek not expected to sign at Finch Farm permanently after his loan from Manchester United, Christian Eriksen looks like a suitable replacement to match the Dutchman’s creativity.

Signed by Brentford after recovering from the cardiac arrest he sustained at the Euros, it’s been a remarkable return to England for the Danish playmaker, who has picked up where he left off at west London, but could perhaps be tempted with a move up North under Lampard’s tutelage.

It would give Eriksen the chance to reunite with former Spurs teammate Dele Alli and together the two could become a dangerous midfield partnership feeding Dominic Calvert-Lewin and contributing with goals themselves.